Saturday, 16 June 2007

I'm a stalker

I admit it.

I'm the kindest type of stalker though, I send emails to my victims and if they don't reply I leave them alone. One of the ones who didn't get away was Rich Mogull, security man extraordinaire, a guy I have a lot of respect for, not least because I have worked for a number of the companies he has analysed in his role at Gartner, usually favourably.

So how did I get in touch with the great man? Well, I'm ashamed to admit, although I'm actually quite proud of it too, I used a bit of social engineering. One of the more apt phrases I've heard used in the pages of Security Bloggers Network recently is "flattery injection" attacks. Well, this is basically what I did. I quoted his blog, and said pretty much what I've said here, that I've followed him all my career and that I respect his work. He emailed to say thanks, and I just kept him in dialog.

OK, so it wasn't planned and I have no right to be smug about it. I have no desire to put one over on him anyway, but it was a good way to start the blog. Long story shortened, I got to speak to Rich last week, there was a slight delay on the line which made things a little tricky, I talked over him a couple of times, but I could have gone on all day. Maybe I should have listened more...

Someone once said something about meeting their heroes, only to be disappointed. I wasn't. He was a thoroughly nice chap and he knows LOADS of stuff without being big-headed. I only wish I could have had more time.

Last month I got to say "Hi" to Hoff. Literally it was just that, and my name. I knew he'd read my blog, and he smiled in recognition of it: "I'm just going into a briefing", the majestic one replied to me as he glided off across the hall. Still, another name for my "security guy" spotters book.

I had a guy called Karel Rode from CA and ISGAfrica drop me a line last month too. He's a security giant on his continent (far more so than I anyway) and we had some lengthy discussions about user and data security (surprise!).

I'm thinking if I keep this up I should be able to say hello to everyone in security by the time I retire. The thing is, I love it. If you are a security guy, drop me a line, give me something to talk about.

I noticed Mike Rothman quoted my blog again last week, maybe I'll leave a message on his answerphone...

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